Empoleon DP variants // DX-on


This thread is about decks focusing on Empoleon DP, which had a big showing at the tail end of the 2007 season. Arguably the most prominent example is Tsuguyoshi Yamato’s list, which he used to place third at Worlds 2007.

—Pokémon (16)—
4 Piplup DP 93
3 Prinplup DP 58
4 Empoleon DP 4
2 Corsola UF 37
1 Chimchar DP 5
1 Infernape DP 76
1 Holon’s Electrode

—Trainer (29)—
4 Celio’s Network
2 Castaway
2 Holon Mentor
2 Holon Adventurer
2 Holon Scientist
1 Holon Farmer
1 Steven’s Advice
1 Mr. Briney’s Compassion

4 Holon Transceiver
3 Cessation Crystal
3 Rare Candy

4 Cursed Stone

—Energy (15)—
11 Water Energy
3 Scramble Energy
1 Double Rainbow Energy

This deck is all about damage spread and bench-sniping. The deck typically likes to start attacking with Prinplup’s Aqua Shower to spread 10 across the opponent’s board so it can begin hitting with Brine for 40 damage anywhere. Once the opponent’s Pokémon are softened up, Empoleon can sweep with Aqua Jet. Because of its focus on damage spread, the deck frequently takes multiple Prizes per turn and wins quickly after taking its first Prize.

Corsola serves two purposes: setting up the Empoleon line via Cry for Help and spreading damage via Target Attack. It’s not uncommon to hide behind a Corsola for several turns, searching out Pokémon and setting up damage, until the opponent is forced to knock it out, thus activating the deck’s Scramble Energy. Due to its focus on spread, the deck is able to abuse Scramble Energy for most of the game, and after having an Empoleon knocked out, it’s often quite easy to respond with another quick Empoleon via Rare Candy and Scramble Energy.

Scramble Energy also works well alongside the deck’s surprise tech, Infernape. With Flare Blitz, Infernape can hit a quick 90 damage out of nowhere, which can quickly take out certain threats like the Absol ex and Eeveelutions ex which were popular at the time. It’s also great for taking out Pokémon who were weak to Fire or resistant to Water like Scizor ex, Sceptile ex δ, and Meganium δ.

Running no Poké-Powers of its own, this deck is easily able to abuse Cessation Crystal and Cursed Stone in high counts, giving it an edge against a large section of the metagame. Even if an opponent runs high counts of Windstorm, it’s possible to stagger out your Tools and Stadiums so eventually a couple get locked into play, giving you a huge advantage. With a thick line of Empoleon, recovery via Holon Farmer, Rare Candy, and Scramble Energy, this deck has great recovery and is usually able to keep constant pressure.

This was a consistent deck with few outright bad matchups, so its success at Worlds makes a lot of sense. Notable other finishes with Empoleon at Worlds 2007 include Go Miyamoto (Top 8, Masters) and Akira Miyazaki (Second Place, Seniors). Both players ran very similar lists, although they cut the Infernape tech. It’s notable that both Miyamoto and Miyazaki lost to matchups against which Infernape is quite helpful (Scizor and Banette, respectively).


Another similar Empoleon variant was “Ambush,” which had a big showing at U.S. Nationals 2007. Lists for this deck were typically very similar. Here is a sample list.

—Pokémon (19)—
4 Piplup DP 93
4 Prinplup DP 58
3 Empoleon DP 4
2 Cubone DS 60
2 Marowak DS 10
2 Roselia LM 42
2 Holon’s Magneton

—Trainer (27)—
3 Celio’s Network
3 Wally’s Training
2 Castaway
2 Holon Mentor
1 Holon Adventurer
1 Holon Scientist
1 Copycat
1 Scott

4 Holon Transceiver
2 Warp Point
2 Cessation Crystal
1 Cursed Powder

4 Cursed Stone

—Energy (14)—
11 Water Energy
3 Scramble Energy

This version of Empoleon is quite similar to the Japanese version from Worlds. The notable difference is the definite emphasis on a turn-one Prinplup via Wally’s Training and the Marowak line. Otherwise, the deck plays quite similarly. Spread damage via Prinplup, Empoleon, Marowak, and Cursed Stone, disrupt the opponent, and abuse Scramble Energy.

Notable finishes with this version of the deck:

  • Tristan Robinson: First Place, U.S. Nationals 2007 (Juniors)
  • Garrett Farrington: Second Place, U.S. Nationals 2007 (Seniors)
  • Jimmy Ballard: Top Sixteen, U.S. Nationals 2007 (Masters)
  • Aaron Curry: Top Sixteen, U.S. Nationals 2007 (Masters)
  • Wataru Hasegawa: Third Place, Worlds 2007 (Seniors)


Why no lvl x? With corsola and scramble, 80 snipe doesn’t seem too bad of an attack even if it is a stage three that can’t attack the next turn when you do it. Plus sacking with the pokepower seems good. The Ambush variant generally played three so a lvl x seems like it could work. Was the no attack next turn effect really that much of a downer or did it not really affect matchups whether it was in or not?